Prospect Profiles: Tony Sipp and Juan Valdes

20. LHP Tony Sipp
How Acquired: 2004 Draft (45th Round)
College: Clemson
ETA: 2007

Year League Age IP ERA H/9 W/9 SO/9
2004 SSA 21 42.2 3.16 6.96 2.74 15.61

One of the steals of the 2004 draft, the Indians enticed Sipp to forego his senior year at Clemson, giving him 6th round money. The large bonus seems to have been worth it; Sipp was lights out with the Scrappers, striking out 74 in 42.2 IP. Sipp has a nice fastball-slider combo, but the Indians want him to learn a changeup to round out his repetroire. Thus far he’s worked out of the bullpen, but if all goes well he might move into a starting role as his strength and endurance improves.

19. OF Juan Valdes
How Acquired: 2003 Draft (5th Round)
High School: Fernando Callejo (Manati, PR)
ETA: 2008

Year League Age AB 2B HR SB BA OBP SLG
2003 R+ 18 130 3 1 5 .223 .275 .285
2004 R+ 19 134 4 1 21 .269 .364 .381
2004 A- 19 97 0 1 20 .237 .345 .268

Why am I including a raw but “projectable” outfielder on this list, when there are other good prospects in the organization? Part of it is a leap of faith on my part, figuring that as his frame fills out, the power will come. Part of it is because he’s already shown decent plate discipline. And part of it comes from glowing scouting reports. Valdes is a switch-hitter, a very good base stealer, and probably weighs 160 pounds soaking wet. If there’s anyone in the organization poised for a breakout season, it’s him. He’s slated to start the season with the Captains.

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